When will female masturbation no longer be taboo? I think I would feel less embarrassed if someone walked in on me having sex than if someone walked in on me masturbating. And that’s just crazy.
I am a female masturbator.
To avoid this blog post just turning into another one of my rants (have you read my rant about the anti-abortion campaign?) I thought I would do a bit of research…into female masturbation and into vibrators. Women’s sexuality and vibrators certainly have an interesting history.
Until the twentieth century it was thought that women did not experience sexual desire or sexual pleasure. Women were merely fleshy receptacles for male lust. ‘Ladies’ had no sex drive and were required to ‘put up with’ sex in order to keep their husbands happy and to have children.
In this culture, where women’s sexual desire did not and could not exist, there was no explanation for women’s erotic fantasies or wetness between the legs. Doctors, perplexed by this condition that seemingly had no explanation, started to call this syndrome ‘hysteria’ which, incidentally, is the Greek word for uterus.
For hysteria unrelieved by husbandly lust (which was quite common) and for single women, widows and unhappily married women, doctors advised horseback riding, which apparently caused enough clitoral stimulation to enable some women to orgasm. Hmmm.
For those for whom horse-riding just wasn’t good enough (and I would have been one of those women), doctors developed the reliable treatment of massaging oil onto women’s genitals and inserting one or two fingers into her vagina.
This is certainly not a treatment I would expect to receive upon visiting my local GP!
Oh, and because women had no sexual desire, their orgasms were called paroxysms. Women couldn’t possibly orgasm.
Unsurprisingly paroxysms administered by the doctor became quite popular. By the end of the day, doctors’ hands ached having massaged a steady stream of women to paroxysm. Our poor doctors were suffering from severe tendonitis.
The vibrator was born and proved to be a much needed labour saving device. It was not until the late nineteenth century that electric vibrators really revolutionised hysteria relief. The electrical vibrator produced ‘paroxysm’ quickly and reliably.
Women started buying their own personal massagers and were able to relieve their own hysteria.
The birth of pornography changed all of this and vibrators were soon featured in porn films. They quickly became socially unacceptable. It was not until the Feminist campaign of the 1970s that vibrators for female sexual pleasure became a bit more mainstream.
But female masturbation still isn’t mainstream is it?
Female masturbation isn’t really something I talk about with my female friends. We talk about sex, but we don’t talk about masturbation. Even in the University course I told you about, the one in which we talked about sex a lot, we didn’t really talk about female masturbation. It is a taboo subject.
I think it is because female masturbation is taboo that men seem to find the idea of a woman masturbating a massive turn on. At least in my experience they men find female masturbation a turn on. There is a ‘dirty’ narrative that accompanies female masturbation. Only girls who love sex masturbate. Only girls who just can’t get enough. This is a man’s fantasy right ? (Apologies to all of my male readers who may or may not find female masturbation a massive turn on – you can let me know below in the comments 😉 )
This modern day narrative that female masturbation is dirty and illicit and immoral and forbidden is reinforced by the likes of Mack Major, a christian author from Florida. Mack Major has published a letter stating that female “masturbation is a direct path to Satan”. This makes me angry. This religious fervour directed against women is part of a powerful movement trying to control women’s bodies and women’s sexuality in the name of religion.
So, this is me ranting against it all.
I am a woman.
I am sexual.
I am not hysterical, I am horny.
I have orgasms not paroxysms.
I am a female masturbator.
And I am proud of it.
If you liked my rant on female masturbation you might want to watch this video advocating the need to talk about female masturbation.
P.S. I promise it is not porn.